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what does this expression mean?
For example, elle s'est mise en frais pour m'aider... etc.

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I will guess that it means that she went out of her way to help me (literally she put herself into  expenses in order to help me).

Since "frais" means "expenses " that is my  guess.

I think the opposite might be to do someone a favour when it is no skin off your  nose.

That's correct Georges. Se mettre en frais is To do something at one's own expense

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